New answers tagged

2

Let's not forget, there are other alternative tech trees to explore as well, even in a society without iron (or metal, for that matter)- some of which the Mesoamericans did already have a head-start in IOTL. Remember, the world’s first natural plastics were discovered and used by them, after all; and incorporated into tools, weapons and for other purposes. ...


3

Realistically They Do What The Army Does Look at George Washington and the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War/American War of Independence. Washington, along with a handful of other "Trained military men" from the British and other armies did not, by and large, try to adapt their tactics to their essentially-untrained troops. ESPECIALLY ...


0

They spread out. The soldiers spread out widely through the woods, camping in groups of 2 and 3. They are not worried about bandits because they have all the bandits with them. They are worried the imperial army will show up. There is no chance this group will win an engagement with the imperials. If attackers surround a tight little camp and catch them ...


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First, you need to know if the enemy is nearby. Whether or not the enemy is nearby determines the protective measures required. That's simple enough for everybody to understand. You use scouts to determine if the enemy is nearby, and whether you should fortify. Experienced leaders choose defend-able terrain for the camp. You use patrols to verify the scouts'...


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As stated by an earlier answer, The experience of its commanders is a big advantage that this army could utilise, which would also dictate what kind of encampment the commanders of this army decide to build. depending on experience and intelligence that can be gathered from scouts and maybe even spies, the small force that you described could make any of the ...


4

Experience trumps all If your commanders are experienced as you say, they should: know the capabilities of the enemy know the capabilities of themselves know the terrain in which they find themselves, and know its ability to aid or disadvantage them So I would expect: With previous experience, know the disposition of the enemy. Ie, if they rest at night, ...


4

You don't build much at all Fortifications are for when you expect to be attacked. As you're a small force, you never want to have to defend a position, unless it's highly defensible. That means either a very fortuitous natural formation, or things like stone walls of castles or cities. Even then you want to avoid such situations. Defensive positions because ...


0

You experienced men would personnaly train some officers that would train the rest of the army. Let's say you have 5 "generals", 3 of them would focus on training a small group of officers, the others two would give orders to the camp, organise logistics and schedule guards turns. About the fortification I genuinely think that the fisrt week the ...


11

Canning in jars was discovered completely by accident in 1809 some 50 years before germ theory was understood. Nicolas Appert, a french brewer and confectioner, experimented with jarred soups and foods for sale as ready cooked meals to the public. He discovered that by cooking the soup in a sealed jar it would not go bad unless the seal was broken. Napoleon ...


1

As far as I understand, as long as you can make a magnet spin fast enough you get an electricity. Knowledge of an electric field being generated by a moving magnet field will move you a whole epoch forward. First obvious implementation of electricity is a lightbulb, and then you get electric fences, powerful electric furnaces to smelt serious metal alloys, ...


2

Two things stand out to me: pendulums and clipper ships. Pendulums are basically just weights on a string, something that there is no reason to invent way earlier in history. This would result in early invention of clocks, which made navigation by longitude relatively easy. (The proper gear manufacturing was observed already in 100 bc in the Antikythera ...


2

The main issue with aluminum is that you can't work it to display the dual properties of quenched iron-based alloys: though surface and elastic core. That aside, in medieval time your only source of heat is burning carbon based substances. This means that carbon will end up in your final product. For iron-based alloys that's no big deal, carbon is an ...


3

The bow and arrow were never invented in Australia, but obviously could have been tens of thousands of years ago.


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The classic ancient example is the stirrup. Horses bred to ride (instead of haul or use as pack animals) possibly started appearing around 3500 BCE, and certainly existed (due to appearing in art) somewhere between 2000-1500 BCE but the earliest depiction of a stirrup is from around 200 BCE in India. So that's somewhere between 1200 to 3300 years before ...


1

If magic & dragons are somewhat common then Castles become not just defensive positions but can also be offensive positions as well. Power projection ...Castles built on frontier to push forward your mages power ie put their magic in range of neighbour countries forts/castles & cities. A line of Castles reinforcing each other with overlapping areas ...


3

Probably Not The human body, naturally, contains all the basic nutrients a human needs to survive. So as long as you're careful to eat all of it (grind up the bone to put in sausages, drink/use the blood in cooking, eat most of the organs) you'll get everything you need from cannibalism to survive. It might not be the perfect diet, I'm not an expert in all ...


0

In addition what other people already gave as answers: I saw a documentary that stated that the human body contains many nutrients needed for survival, thus cannibalism is a valid option. However, this is only true in case the human that is being eaten is not starving themselves, in that case, the body does not contain enough for a human to survive on and it ...


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I wouldn't say that they are hard to kill. This bouncing might be usefull when you fall off hight or have lost your way but in a hecticle situation anticipating your flying path while facing it with your back (you came from the direction so you probably face away from it) to it sounds extremly risky. When you have a melee combat you do focus on your opponent....


4

It has happened in the past, like in the case of the whaler Essex Essex was an American whaler from Nantucket, Massachusetts, which was launched in 1799. In 1820, while at sea in the southern Pacific Ocean under the command of Captain George Pollard Jr., she was attacked and sunk by a sperm whale. Thousands of miles from the coast of South America with ...


7

You say the plan is to kill/capture and then eat their enemies? One Question. How? As you have defined the problem the city is under siege. By default that means it has been blockaded/encircled by a superior militarily force which is both preventing the inhabitants both bringing in food and other supplies and preventing citizens from exiting in any ...


1

Archers can't reach you once you're aloft, but you're far from bandit-proof. Balloons are extremely slow. Average balloon speed is under 10 mph for safe operation (during liftoff and landing you want it as close to zero speed as possible). A horse can trot at 8-12 mph, and gallop close to 30 mph. Your balloon is also quite large and has nowhere to hide ...


4

Human flesh is remarkably nutritious and you could likely survive on a diet of humans for quite a long period. That being said, there are reasons why no species or culture has ever evolved that relies primarily on cannibalism, mainly that it's not exactly easy to make a living hunting prey that has senses and intelligence equal to yours. Investing that much ...


14

The human body literally contains all the nutrients humans need to survive and thrive. Getting to them is another matter. Some of those nutrients are easy to get by eating flesh, but others will be concentrated in organs, the bones, or blood. Eating bones is flat difficult, and drinking blood exposes you to a lot of potential diseases. Some organs, like the ...


0

The elves are hated, but they are hated because they're different yet an essential part of society and the economy. So getting rid of the elves, however much they're disliked, is going to cause worse problems than leaving them be in that forest of theirs. Let's instead declare an exclusion zone around the forest where nobody except our valiant patrols force ...


1

If you compare a medieval archer to a real balloon, the balloon will win. But real balloons were made in the 1780s and your balloon is made in the medieval era. Your balloon was was created by an inventor who does not have the scientific background, technology, supply chain, or infrastructure that the Montgolfier brothers did. The fact that it can lift a ...


5

Of course they can. If it's very dry, anyway... The archers don't wait for the balloon to arrive. As it appears on the horizon upwind of their chosen hunting ground, they strike! They shoot bolts at the dry grass of the opposite hillside. From powerful incendiaries, flames spread quickly, climbing the bone-dry hillside as the horrified passengers of the ...


1

Hating Elves does not mean hating nature. The humans may have a reverence to the forest in a way that doesn't extend to the Elves living in it. They may consider destroying mother nature's magnificent creation as sacrilege. They may fear the Gods' reprisal if they destroy the world built for them in some petty conflict. They may even despise the Elves ...


0

Here is a possible plot device that would explain why it didn't work. If the elves are hated so much, then perhaps they anticipated this event and took measures beforehand to prevent it. For example, perhaps the elves leveraged their magic to cultivate a type of ivy along the outer perimeters of the forest that is especially toxic to humans - but not to the ...


1

The understanding that they would be creating some really, really, coldly angry, long-lived elves, who would have just been given a lesson in genocide and become dedicated to vengeance. And probably be given help from elves living elsewhere. Resulting in: Anyone with a lit torch would be shot at the moment they came within arrow range of the forest. I ...


1

Why not burn the forest? Because big fires are nasty. Here's some very real consequences that this fire could have, assuming that this forest is flammable, and coming mostly from the perspective of a Coloradan: Air quality goes way down. In a pre-industrial revolution world, a forest fire will be the worst pollution anyone has ever encountered. Ash rains ...


2

There were many good technical arguments made, and I'd like to make one logical argument. This most likely cannot be done outside of extraordinary means like divine intervention / meteorite / sudden volcano opening up. Think about it: the elves have lived in the forest for hundreds of years. Anything bad that can happen to it, natural or man-made, they have ...


24

Even if the balloon flies low enough that you can actually hit it with a crossbow or longbow (and it is surprisingly difficult to aim at a moving object above your head) you won't do much damage. First of all at the top end of its trajectory the arrow or bolt won't have much penetrating power left. And you will mostly be hitting the bottom and sides of the ...


1

Pollution : The forest trees bring some poisonous gas when dying The army could easily set the forest on fire, but not too far from the forest are also inhabitants, farmers, and fields that the nearby population heavily rely on for their food supply. Eventhough the farmers (and their army) really hate the elves, they are aware that setting the forest on fire ...


16

Money, money, money. What is to stop them from setting fire to the side of the forest close to them and letting it spread? Forests are extremely valuable resources, and are most definitely things you do not want to burn down, particularly as warfare is expensive. It takes a very long time to rebuild a forest - they do not, oddly enough, grow on trees. You ...


14

They are safe but for another reason than people have given The balloon will be squishy and will flex went hit by an arrow. Think of poking a plastic bag. If the arrow or quarrel pierces the bag it will get snagged and fill the hole it just created. The balloons need to be fire retardant to avoid burning up from the fire keeping them aloft so even flaming ...


65

They are safe. A 1000lb medieval crossbow has an initial velocity of around 150 fps (~45.7m/s). Oddly increasing the poundage of the crossbow does not increase the velocity just the allowable weight of the projectile, the distance traveled by the bowstring and the speed the bow can flex act as limits. I will use the the formula for firing straight up because ...


5

Please note, this was done with "seems right" figures. There is actual maths performed elsewhere, including the base of my answer. I am intentionally leaving it here, without editing my "seems right" numbers, both for archival purposes and to not have 3-4 homogeneous answers. First, the distance So according to a random page from google ...


5

Most answers seem to focus on either a magical reason, or the fact that forests can be hard to burn down under the right conditions. But, I noticed something else that you said, "the forest they all (or vast majority of) reside in." As in, the elves we hate are mostly inside the forest, as in not currently waging a massive war against us, and a ...


8

Technically Nothing In the grand scheme of things, nothing prevents the army from trying to burn the forest in an attempt to deal with the elves in the forest. My thought would be that for an army to do that, their desire to rout the elves is more valuable and/or important to them than the acquisition of all the resources in the forest that they intend to ...


8

Because the forest isn't as flammable as all that except in very dry seasons and because to set fire you first have to get close. As others mentioned forest fires are a natural occurence and frequent fires can prevent entire forests burning down. You would have to burn the forest section by section. Unfortunately each time you start a fire you have to get ...


21

Elves are Celtic mythology characters for one reason: they live in the Celtic rain forest. It's a very humid forest where it rains nearly daily, maybe as wet as the equatorial rain forest. Unless in a severe drought, any fire you try to start will soon extinguish itself for lack of dry fuel - unless it's extinguished earlier by rain.


39

The trees are fireproof. The elves do not live in forests of lodgepole pines. Or maybe some used to but moved out when the forest burned. They live in redwood forests. http://forestschoolsbapet.blogspot.com/2013/04/redwoods-and-why-are-they-fireproof.html Why is the Redwood tree fireproof? Redwood trees have very thick bark which has a lot of water ...


2

The elves place an enchantment around the forest that draws from the ley nodes running through the forest itself that makes the trees indestructible by fire, while also improving their appearance and limiting pesky underbrush, therefore, unless a stronger group of sorcerors engage them mortal fire will not burn down the forest. The enchantment is maintained ...


8

Treants There are mobile, sentient trees around. When you start spinning those sticks to start a fire, you risk getting walloped on the noggin' with extreme force. Even if you try lighting fires by outsourcing fire staves, you are still in a position where you are open to retaliation by the treants. They love throwing immorally large boulders over large ...


28

The Elves won't stop you because they are already setting fire to the forest. Forest fires are a natural part of many forest's life cycles and can actually be beneficial in controlled burns. Letting a forest grow too long can lead to the next fire being to dangerous or affect forest health. So long as the trees have a fast life cycle it may be hard to ...


46

Forest fires are a type of wildfire, which to spread effectively need at least two things: Sufficient dry starting fuel. Wind in the direction of spread. If constructed correctly, it is conceivable that the non costal side of the forest would not experience a sustained wind coastwards, but would experience a sea breeze, pushing the fire front away from ...


3

I have seen this happen. (technically, it wasn't combat) When I was in college, I lived in house with a large number of housemates. One afternoon, several of us were watching TV in the living room and one of our housemates staggered into the house, wobbled a little, and collapsed. Luckily, we had a few medical school students in the house (the university ...


5

Don't underestimate severe exhaustion (like several days/months without or with really minimal sleep). The person might be able to function for a short while in a high-pressure situation, but the result will be he will just fall asleep at the first sign of ending. I have a very heavy case of sleep apnea, which causes me to choke when I sleep (treated with a ...


1

Vagal (Vasovagal) Response Depending on what effect you want to achieve, after an intensive effort people can get a vagal response that can make people faint just for a few seconds maximum. Most of the time you'll just fall to the ground due to your legs feeling really weak.


3

I'd like to add another possible cause that fits your scenario and gives a longer and more flexible window: Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). As I diabetic, I am familiar with this condition as treating the high blood sugar caused by diabetes can often cause this as a side effect. In my experience, the effects of this are varied, and can cause a blackout. ...


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